Ford Expedition is First Produced
The Ford Expedition is a full-size SUV built by the Ford Motor Company.
Introduced in 1997 as a replacement to the Ford Bronco, it was previously slotted between the smaller Ford Explorer and the larger Ford Excursion, but as of the 2005 model year it is Ford's largest SUV. Ford currently offers the standard regular-sized model and the larger EL/Max model, succeeding the Excursion which was discontinued in 2005.
The Expedition (especially the larger EL/Max model) is once again Ford's flagship SUV. All Expeditions were originally built in Wayne, Michigan. In 2009, Ford shifted its current third generation model production to Louisville, Kentucky as Ford has begun converting the Wayne assembly plant to start building the future production of the Focus.
The Expedition, as of the 2010 model year, offers up to eight passenger seating (in XLT trim with front bench seat option) and a V8 engine. It is similar to the Lincoln Navigator, especially for the 2007-present model with the introduction of the King Ranch trim line in 2008. Over 500,000 Expeditions have sold since 2004, reflecting high consumer demand for its family-friendly interior, cargo space, off-road capability and high towing capacity. All four-wheel-drive Ford Expeditions have Control Trac 4WD, which is designed by BorgWarner, and use BorgWarner 4WD 2-Speed Electronic transfer cases with Torque-On-Demand technology. Other 4WD features include front mounted closed loop recovery/tow hooks, self engaging/disengaging hubs and optional off-road Skid Plates (placed over vital areas).
Expeditions also have available ElectroPneumatic self leveling / load leveling suspensions systems. The ElectroPneumatic suspension (electronically controlled and actuated by air) is "smart" enough to detect when a heavy trailer, such as a travel trailer, is present via weight transfer. Additional sensors placed on the left and right sides of the vehicle also monitor for any listing. This keeps the Expedition running straight, level, and true while towing and at night helps to keep the Expedition’s headlamps from blinding oncoming traffic. A specially modified Special Service Vehicle version is also available from Ford for law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and EMS agencies.
Both the Expedition and Expedition EL are sold in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the CMNI, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam, the Philippines, the Middle East, Central America, the Caribbean, South America (except Argentina and Brazil), Cambodia, Mongolia and South Korea.
The Expedition replaced the full-sized Ford Bronco. Seating capacity was up to nine passengers when equipped with a front bench seat and an optional third-row seat, and the towing capacity was 8,000 lb (3,600 kg) when properly equipped. Ford made mechanical and cosmetic changes for the 1999 model year Expedition. Both the 4.6L and 5.4L engines received more power without reducing fuel economy. Ford also revised the front grille, front fascia, and bumper with integrated fog lamps in the lower valance.
For the 2000 model year, Gentex auto dimming Electrochromatic rear view mirrors became available. Lower front bumper valances and running boards on Eddie Bauer models were changed to Arizona beige to complement other Eddie Bauer trims. Also new for 2000 was optional rear park distance/back up sensors which were mounted on the rear bumper, and optional front seat side impact airbags.
The Ford Expedition is a full-size sport-utility vehicle based on Ford's popular full-size pickup truck platform. With rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and seating for up to eight or nine adults when equipped with a third-row seat, the Expedition has been on the short list for full-size families as well as anyone who needs the combination of versatility and grunt provided by a large SUV.
Big, tall and heavy, the Ford Expedition is every inch a truck, its big body wrapped around a comfortable, spacious, ergonomically sound cabin and set atop a sturdy ladder frame. Big V8 torque makes it a good tow vehicle, too. Moreover, particularly in its current iteration, the Expedition doesn't feel as cumbersome to drive as its extravagant dimensions and hefty weight suggest.
That said, you'll be reminded of just how full-size the Expedition is at the gas pump, particularly if you are an aggressive driver. However, in spite of its thirst for regular unleaded, a steady stream of improvements has allowed the Expedition to remain appealing enough to make it into well over a million driveways since its 1997 introduction. Redesigned for 2007 with a macho grille and a chiseled body, today's Expedition is the best and most refined yet.
Current Ford Expedition
The current Ford Expedition is offered in two lengths: standard and EL. The EL benefits from a 12-inch stretch in wheelbase and nearly 15 inches of additional overall length. The biggest reason to consider the EL is to cash in on the generous cargo space behind the third-row seat, which is more than twice that of the standard Expedition. The EL also features a longer rear door that facilitates entry into the third row. However, whereas previous-generation Expeditions could hold up to nine passengers, today's holds only eight, due to standard front bucket seats.
The Expedition is available in four trim levels, with the comfortably equipped but hardly lavish XLT serving as the base model. The Eddie Bauer trim adds two-tone paint and more interior features, while the Limited trim level gets monochromatic paint and a truly luxurious interior. The King Ranch adds unique wheels and leather upholstery as well as wood accents. Available options include navigation, heated and cooled seats and a rear-seat entertainment system, although some options are not available on certain models.
The Ford Expedition features fold-flat second-row seats as well as available power-folding third-row seatbacks that together create a wide, flat cargo floor. Families with infants will appreciate the sliding center position of the second-row seat, which can bring a child in a safety seat up to 11 inches closer to the front-seat passengers.
Ford's full-size SUV is surprisingly pleasant to drive, thanks to quick steering, a smooth engine and a ride quality that feels more like a big car than a big SUV. All Expeditions are powered by a 5.4-liter V8 that produces 300 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. As with most full-size SUVS, the Expedition is offered with a choice of rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Shoppers looking for more power will find it in several of the Expedition's competitors, but not all offer a six-speed automatic transmission to make the most out of it.
Used Ford Expedition Models
The current, third-generation Ford Expedition is the product of a major refresh conducted for 2007. Since then, minor changes have occurred. The King Ranch trim level debuted for 2008, while the Sync electronics interface was gained for '09.
The second-generation Ford Expedition was introduced for the 2003 model year. Compared to the current generation, the styling was different and a less stiff chassis resided underneath. Ride and handling were not as good, and the standard automatic transmission had four gears. There were also fewer available features, including three-row side curtain airbags. However, compared to its predecessor, this Expedition was a vast improvement -- specifically in regards to driving dynamics, thanks to its independent rear suspension. It was also the first SUV to offer power fold-into-the-floor rear seats.
Engines for this second-generation model consisted of a 232-hp 4.6-liter V8 and a 260-hp 5.4-liter V8. For 2005, Ford dropped the smaller engine and increased the 5.4-liter V8's output to 300 hp. The model line eventually proliferated from four trim levels in 2003, including an off-road version called FX4, to six for 2006, including the opulent, western-themed King Ranch edition. Safety-minded shoppers should know that 2003 models offered stability control, with tire pressure monitors becoming available on 2004 models.
In reviews, we thought this Expedition competed favorably with its contemporary competitors from General Motors, Nissan and Toyota. If there was one area of contention -- especially in pre-'05 models -- it was a lack of V8 muscle. On the whole, though, this edition of Ford's big SUV provided solid handling for a vehicle of its size. It still felt like a big SUV, but the steering was decently weighted and body roll was well controlled around turns. The ride could be a tad harsh on rough roads, but overall, it was a comfortable cruiser.
Launched originally for the 1997 model year, the original Ford Expedition was met with heaps of praise. Its dimensions fell between those of the short-wheelbase and long-wheelbase versions of the GM sport-utilities at the time, enabling it to both accommodate a third-row seat and fit inside a normal garage, albeit tightly.
The first-generation Ford Expedition came in just two trim levels: XLT and the more luxurious, two-tone Eddie Bauer. Both featured interior architecture that was nearly identical to the F-Series pickup, which offered good ergonomics but was rendered in lamentable materials. Its 215-hp 4.6-liter and 230-hp 5.4-liter V8 engines also could not keep up with the stronger motors from its primary competitors, a deficiency that was addressed in 1999 with a horsepower bump for both engines, of 25 and 30 respectively.